What is Airspeeder?
The Airspeeder is a full-size remotely operated electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle prepared for air racing, which, according to the developer, will be able to be placed on board the pilot in the near future. The developer is Alauda. They first officially announced themselves in 2019, presenting their project to create races on multicopters with real pilots on board, with the first racing event scheduled for early 2020. But the pandemic made its own adjustments and the project was suspended. Today, Alauda guarantees that the first racing event will be organized in 2021, but for now exclusively in an unmanned format.
Company founder Matt Pearson is as optimistic as possible: “The world’s first electric flying vehicle racing will be the most exciting and innovative motorsport on the planet.”
Pilots on board since 2022!
That’s what they say in Alauda. But what about security? The developer notes that in order to ensure maximum safety, full-scale crash tests are carried out, which check the relevance of “revolutionary improvements included in the safety system, including lidars, radars and obstacle avoidance systems, which together create a” virtual force field around the racing car, “and also tested components such as the frame and fuselage, made of carbon fiber to ensure the properties of strength, rigidity and lightness, which in turn guarantees the best maneuverability, performance and efficiency.
According to the developer’s specification, the Airspeed Mk3 racing boat without a pilot weighs 100 kg and can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h. By the way, earlier the maximum horizontal flight speed of Airspeed was 200 km / h, but for safety reasons it had to be reduced.
The developer notes that the first races of the Mk3 will provide vital information about vehicle dynamics, performance, safety and powertrain technologies that will serve as the basis for the final development of the Airspeeder Mk4 manned vehicle.
According to an Alauda press release, “The Airspeeder Mk3 is a VTOL octocopter built on an X-frame. In the race, the driver will be able to make the same tight turns as a Formula 1 car, but with an additional third dimension for vertical movement. To ensure a quick pit stop, Alauda engineers developed an innovative “Slide and Lock” power lock system to quickly remove and replace batteries on the ground. This technology will debut on the Mk3.”
According to Alauda, the Airspeeder Model Mk3 is already on the assembly line. The press release states: “A complete launch batch of Mk3 electric flying cars is currently under construction at Airspeeder and Alauda Technical Headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia. More than 10 identical racing vehicles will be produced and delivered to teams in 2021. The last closed pre-season test will take place in Australia before the start of the international racing calendar.”
How realistic is it to be done?
Based on official information, the company has 10 months to succeed in betting on a race (without a pilot), but given the fact that the developer convinced several large partners to follow him, including: DHL, Acronis and Equals Money, then the implementation of this project is more than likely.